World's Number One Bukowski Fan


by David Ochs

I'VE ALWAYS BEEN A BIG FAN BUKOWSKI, read all his poems, short stories, novels and even his letters. Of course he's influenced my writing and even my philosophy. If Bukowski had a fan club I'd join it, get my Bukowski membership card, T-shirt, bumper sticker, and newsletter. I'd attend Bukowski conventions if they had them and buy Bukowski memorabilia. That's how much of a fanatic I am.
So when I saw the ad on eBay I had to have it. Bukowski's skull. That's right, Buk's skull for ten grand. I thought what kind of nut would even have Buk's skull in the first place, but who was I to judge? As long as he could deliver the goods. I had to sell my car to get the money to pay for Bukowski's skull, but I thought I could always get another car, but I couldn't always get another Bukowski's skull. And besides if the grilled cheese sandwich of the Virgin Mary sold for eight grand on eBay then ten grand for Buk's skull was a bargain.
I waited everyday and finally the UPS man came with a box. I signed for Buk's skull. I thought it was really weird that UPS drivers wear all brown; brown shoes, brown shorts, brown shirts, brown hats, and even drive a brown truck. Brown's so bland. Bukowski wouldn't have liked his skull being delivered by people wearing all brown. I'm sure he would've written a poem about it.
I opened the box. It was Bukowski's skull all right, the cheekbones were a little high and the teeth were oversized, kind of like horse teeth. How ironic, Bukowski loved to play the horses. Then I needed a place to put it. I put in on my desk but it looked out of place, so I thought to myself where would Bukowski be comfortable? So I put him right on the kitchen table where he'd probably sit with a hangover. Of course he would've had a cigarette and a beer, so I put a pack of smokes on one side and a bottle of beer on the other. It was a Labatt's Blue. I don't think Bukowski ever drank Canadian but it would do. To make my shrine complete I took all my Bukowski books and stacked them on the table.
All that work made my hungry and I micro waved a TV dinner and ate it in the living room seeing there was on room on the kitchen table. I figured not being able eat at the kitchen table is a small sacrifice to make for the worlds greatest poet. After several hours of staring at the Bukowski shrine I decided to call my friend, Big Dave. Big Dave wanted me to come see him but I told him I couldn't because I sold my car. So Big Dave came by and looked over at the kitchen table. "What the hell is that?" he asked.

"That's the skull of Charles Bukowski,” I said.

"Who's Borowski?"

"Bukowski, you idiot."

"Well, who is he?"

"Only the greatest poet in the world."

"You sold your car for that."


"How do you know it's really his, that the guy didn't go to the graveyard and dig up some other jerk's skull?"

"Because of the high cheekbones and the oversized teeth."

"Lots of people have high cheekbones and oversized teeth."

"Look," I said, "you’re not a poet and you never even heard of Bukowski and now all of a sudden you’re an expert on Bukowski.”
The room got real quiet. I nailed Big Dave just like they nailed Jesus. "Got any beer," Big Dave asked. I felt kind of sorry for him so I gave him Bukowski's Labatt's Blue.

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